Navajo Council continues Hiding; $2.1B Work Session 12.4.23, 9:46 am

Greetings Relatives/Frens/Humans, The Navajo Council Naabik’iyati Committee started at 9:46 am, as announced by Speaker Crystalyn Curley on her LiveStream on YouTube, which ONLY SHOWS the Great Seal of the Navajo Nation. The sound is good. There’s a humming sound in the background. And so the Speaker’s LiveStream does not show who is speaking or even any identification of the speaker. Good Grief! SMH! WHY are our Navajo Nation Govt elected officials, who are also known as PUBLIC SERVANTS, continuing to Hid from their Relatives/Frens/Humans.

Curley also announced that the Navajo Council chambers was not large enough for the presenters and so the Naabik’iyati Committee work session will relocate to the Navajo Dept of Transportation, which just west of Tse Bonito, NM.

She also explained that this is the “perfect” opportunity to make Amendments regarding the Spending of ARPA or Fiscal Recovery Funds. “Ask any questions,” Curley urged the Naabi members. She thanked Budget and Finance Committee Chairwoman Shaandiin Parrish for assisting with information regarding ARPA budgets & spending and Resources & Development Committee Vice Chairman Casey Johnson for providing information regarding ARPA Projects.

Tom Platero, director for the Navajo Nation FRF (Fiscal Recovery Fund) Office, emphasizes to Naabi members that the federal regulations for ARPA funds have been changing and so when the Navajo FRF Office thinks that the ARPA projects are in compliance, new federal changes occur that the Navajo Nation has to comply with. He said that the U.S. Treasury has made 13 changes. Platero adds that chapters don’t help in spending ARPA funds and complying with ARPA guidelines when they change their ARPA projects that were initially approved by the chapter.

Platero noted that no one submitted an Eligibility Determination for an Road Project that would be funded with ARPA funds, and that’s because the initial announcement was that No Road Project were eligible. He said that the first ARPA Road Project came from Chinle Chapter. He explained that the more recent changes to federal ARPA spending guideline also allows for ARPA funds to immediately become available when a chapter enters into a sub-recepient agreement.

Platero reported that the Navajo Dept of Justice has been reviewing ARPA projects for eligibility within the required ten days. But then as he’s reading Navajo Nation ARPA guidelines, he realizes that the Navajo DOJ has Five Days to review Navajo Nation ARPA Projects.

He informs Naabi members that the Navajo Nation Washignton D.C. Office returned $5M in Unspent ARPA funds and the Navajo Enviromental Protection Agency also returned $4M in ARPA Funds.

Platero added that some Navajo Council Delegates are requesting for ARPA Funds for chapter bathroom additions to be reallocated to a different chapter project, which require several time-consuming changes because the new ARPA chapter project has to go through the ARPA guidelines again, which includes deactivating budget accounts that were created. He says that when all the Navajo ARPA funds are obligated for Navajo ARPA Projects, there will be more than 600 business units representing Navajo ARPA projects.

Platero emphaszies that the Navajo Nation’s $2.1B ARPA funds must be obligated by Dec 31, 2024.

10:44 am, 12.4.23, Navajo Dept of Justice presentng their report. I hope all the presenters, who are all part of the Navajo govt, have written reports because this four-day work session involves U.S. Treasury guideline, Navajo Nation financial laws, and the current status of more than 700 Navajo Nation ARPA projects, which include chapter ARPA projects.

Budget & Finance Committee member Amber Kanazbah Crotty asks Speaker Curley if there are proposed amendments to prior Navajo Council resolutions regarding how ARPA funds can be spent becasue some of the Navajo Council’s intitial resolutions were too restrictive in how ARPA funds could be spent.

There are more than 110 chapters and each chapter was impacted by COVID., Crotty says. “I represent 7 chapters and I can attest to different levels of services provided by chapter and their capacity,” she noted.

Crotty also recalls how the Navajo Nation Executive Branch, through its Division of Community Development, asked Navajo Council Delegates to have one of their chapters act as a Navajo Nation Regional Distribution Center for COVID aid. What is their status?

Crotty said that there are some chaptes in stronger prositon to assist other chapters with administrative issues, which results in their chapter ARPA projects not moving through the process or even getting into the process. She also noted that some chapters also face problems with their chapter manager and chater coordinator not working on chapter ARPA projects. But she said the Navajo Division of Community Development has supervisory authority over chapter managers and chapter coordinator and that’s how they could help chapters get their ARPA project through the process. She said Navajo Dept of Justice just reported that some chapters are not responding to their requests for additional information that would help in determining that their ARPA project is eligible.

Crotty emphasized that some chapters need intevention with housing renovations and housing repairs. She recalled that Navajo Housing Authority issued a report ten years ago that found that the Navajo Nation needed 35,000 homes. Community assessments are needed regarding the state of homes on the Navajo Nation. Crotty said that under the federal CARES funds, chapters were asked to submit community assessements, which I thought would help to filter down CARES funds to chapters. During COVID, families were given tents for their loved ones to live in after they became sick with COVID and had to be isolated, she said. At that time, I saw homes that needed windows, doors, a new roof, floors deterioring. There is a “critial need” fo housing assistance, Crotty said.

“Our government cannot continue to issue tents to our families,” Crotty noted. “We need to push all these ARPA projects. So who is on the Navajo Nation executive side that will help chapters push these projects. I, as delegate, cannot push these projects: I have a family with 12 people in one home, affidavits that children are sleeping on the floor. When COVID took many of our Navajo matriarch, it left behind families that needed help to keep their home together.

Crotty reminded Platero that the Navajo Council provided a huge chunk of the Navajo Nation’s $2.1B ARPA funds to his office to process the Navajo Nation’s ARPA projects.

11 am, 12.4.23, I just noticed that I can see the Navajo Council Naabik’iyati Committee members on their YouTube livestream. I’ve been listening & doing live reporting. Budget & Finance Committee member Amber Kanazbah Crotty is asking excellent questions regarding solutions that involve a wholistic view of the type of support available or needed in the Navajo’s 24 region or five agencies from Navajo Tribal Utilty Authority and Navajo Engineering & Construction Authority.

“We are still riding these COVID waves,” Crotty added. But she says President Buu Nygren lifted the COVID Executive Order and so Navajo govt employees are forced to use their own sick leave and annual leave when they become infected with COVID.

WORK SESSION, Navajo Nation Council Chambers, Window Rock, Navajo Nation (AZ)
December 4 – 7, 2023 – 9:00 AM Daily
Livestream will be available online on YouTube:
Join Zoom Meeting:
Call-in Number: (669) 900-6833
Meeting ID: 928 871 7160
Passcode: 86515
PRESIDING CHAIR: Honorable Crystalyne Curley, Speaker, 25th Navajo Nation Council

    Introduction and Purpose of Work Session presented by Speaker, Honorable Crystalyne Curley, 25th Navajo Nation Council. Discussions related to the Navajo Nation Fiscal Recovery Funds (ARPA), Project Updates and the Current Challenges.
    The review of resolutions will provide 25th Council a clear understanding of legislative actions taken relative to Navajo Nation ARPA.
    A. BFS-31-21
    i. Eligibility Determination – Presented by Navajo Nation Department of Justice and Navajo Nation Fiscal Recovery Fund Office
    B. BFMY-08-23
    i. Eligibility Determination Amendments – Presented by Navajo Nation Department of Justice and Navajo Nation Fiscal Recovery Fund Office
    C. CJY-41-21
    i. Section Three – Establishment of NNFRF – Presented by Navajo Nation Office of Legislative Counsel and Navajo Nation Department of Justice
    ii. Section Four – Eligibility Determinations – (Combine with Items A and B)
    iii. Section Five – Reimburse Síhasin & UUFB – Presented by Navajo Nation Office of Management and Budget, Navajo Nation Office of the Controller and Department of Justice
    iv. Section Six – CARES Defunded Projects – Presented by Division of Economic Development, Department of Information Technology, Judicial Branch, Department of Water Resources, Division of Health, and Navajo Nation Fiscal Recovery Fund Office
    v. Section Eleven – Establishing NNFRFO – Presented by NNFRFO
    vi. Section Thirteen – Directives – Presented by Division of Natural Resources, General Land Development, Division of Human Resources, Department of Personnel Management, Office of the President/Vice-President, Business Regulatory Department, and Department of Justice
    D. CD-62-21
    i. Hardship Assistance – Presented by Office of the Controller and Vital Records
    E. CJN-29-22
    i. Section Three – Chapter & Regional Project Expenditure Plans – Presented by Division of Community Development, Broadband Office, Department of Water Resources, Navajo Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Health, Navajo DOT, Parks & Recreations, and Division of Economic Development
  • NNFRFO Update on Current Chapter & Regional Budgets and Projects not yet financially encumbered.
  • Update on Delegate Region Expenditure Plan available balances – Presented by Office of Legislative Counsel Staff
    ii. Section Four – Public Safety & Cybersecurity – Presented by Division of Public Safety, Division of Community Development, and Department of Information Technology
    iii. Section Five – Public Health – Presented by Department of Health
    iv. Section Six – Hardship Assistance II – (Combine with Item D.)
    v. Section Seven – Water and Wastewater – Presented by Department of Water Resources, Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, Navajo Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Environmental Health, and Navajo Area Indian Health Service
    vi. Section Eight – Broadband – Presented by Broadband Office, Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, CellularOne, and Sacred Winds Communications
    vii. Section Nine – Electricity – Presented by Division of Community Development, Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, Continental Divide Electric Cooperative, and Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative
    viii. Section Ten – Housing – Presented by Division of Community Development, Veterans Administration, and Navajo Hopi Land Commission Office
    ix. Section Eleven – Bathroom Additions – Presented by Division of Community Development, Navajo Tribal Utility Authority and Navajo Engineering and Construction Authority, Navajo Area Indian Health Service
    x. Section Twelve – NNFRF Administration – Presented by Department of Justice, Office of the Controller, Office of Management and Budget, Office of the Auditor General, and Navajo Nation Fiscal Recovery Fund Office
    xi. Section Thirteen and Fourteen – Unallocated Funds and Surplus Funds – Presented by Navajo Nation Fiscal Recovery Fund Office and Office of the Controller
    xii. Section Fifteen – Reporting – Presented by Navajo Nation Fiscal Recovery Fund Office
  1. ARPA Related Discussions
    A. Amendments to Navajo Nation Procurement Act (Resolution CO-81-23) Presented by Navajo Nation Department of Justice
    B. Right-of-Way (ROW) and Tribal Access Authorization (TAA)/Homesite Lease Presented by Division of Natural Resources
    C. Proposed Amendments by the Executive Branch Presented by Office of the President and VicePresident, Department of Justice, and Navajo Nation Fiscal Recovery Fund Office
    D. Office of the President/Vice-President Recommendations and Input
  2. Next Steps and Follow Up Assignments
    Livestream will be available online on YouTube:
    Join Zoom Meeting:
    Call-in Number: (669) 900-6833
    Meeting ID: 928 871 7160
    Passcode: 86515

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